Information for current JRAs

Current undergraduate researchers can use this site to keep up-to-date with upcoming training and events throughout the summer vacation, as well as access useful information on claiming expenses and designing an academic poster. Past undergraduate researchers can learn about additional opportunities to promote their research further afield.


All JRAs are invited to participate in various training activities as well as social events. While some of these events are compulsory and others are optional, we would still encourage you to attend as many events as possible.

The current schedule of events for 2018 is below. Please note that this program is currently incomplete. More events - including a program of training sessions - are yet to be added, and all events are subject to changes of date and location. We will email you regarding any alterations, so do please keep an eye on your inbox.

Date Time Event Venue
February 1 16.00-15.30 JRA 2018 Briefing Event Jubilee Lecture Theatre
February 1 12.00 JRA applications open n/a
April 16 16.00 Deadline for applications n/a
May 15 16.00 All applicants notified of selection process n/a
June 20 12.00-14.30 JRA 2018 Launch Event TBC
July 2 n/a JRA research projects begin n/a
July 25 17.00-19.30 Summer BBQ and quiz Falmer Bar
September 7 n/a JRA projects end n/a
September 20 16.00 Poster submission deadline n/a
October 3 12.00-14.00 Celebrating Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition Mandela Hall


                                                                                      JRA social events

Date Time Event Venue
July 18 tbc First social JRA meet-up event tbc
July 25 tbc Summer BBQ and quiz tbc
August 8  tbc Second social JRA meet-up event tbc
August 15 tbc Third social JRA meet-up event tbc


Expenses and bursary

Every JRA award holder receives a bursary of £1800 for the duration of their 8-week projects. The bursary is paid in two instalments of £800. The first instalment is paid at the start of the projects, and the second instalment is released after 4 weeks and is dependent on a satisfactory progress report from the supervisor. Payments are made via BACS. It is the award holder's responsibility to ensure that their bank account details are up-to-date on Sussex Direct.

To try to ensure that no JRA is adversely affected by costs resulting from their research, we have also allocated each a £200 expenses allowance. This allowance can only be claimed for costs that directly support your research, and you will be expected to explain/prove that any claim made is necessary. Here are some examples of things that JRAs commonly claim for:

  • travel and subsistence whilst undertaking fieldwork (i.e. visiting archives or external academics)
  • ordering books not available from the library
  • buying specific software required for research (i.e. data analysis software or bug-catching equipment)
  • money used to pay participants to engage in research.

Please note that, unfortunately, we are unable to refund travel to and from the university. If you are unsure about what you can claim, it is best to contact Dean Brooks (

If you are a science student funds to cover consumables are normally transferred into your supervisor's research account.

You claim research related costs using the Student Expense Form. You must attach all receipts with your claim. The form must be signed and the original copy either sent or brought to:

Dean Brooks, Doctoral School, Falmer House (entrance opposite Mandela Hall), BN1 9QF.

You can also submit the form electronically, by emailing

Payments can take up to two weeks to process.

Academic Poster

Do I have to submit a poster and why?

All JRAs are required to submit an A1 academic poster (this must be a Portrait layout). This is stated in the Terms and Conditions of the award which you and your supervisor signed when accepting the bursary.

Posters are a very common way used by researchers, especially among the PhD community, to communicate in a quick and accessible way the key findings of their research. The idea is that you will gain some experience in presenting your findings to a wider audience and get invaluable practice in designing a research poster. All posters will be displayed at the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition which is attended by students, faculty and staff.

I have never designed an academic poster before. Will I get any support?

You will. Sussex traditionally holds two workshops which will give you all the information and knowledge you need to design a poster. You will be made aware of the date of these at the start of your project. As the sessions tend to be popular, we operate an online booking system and would recommend you book your place on your chosen session early to avoid disappointment.  

If you are unable to attend either session, we have uploaded some guidelines to producing an academic poster to help you through the process. Additionally, you can have a look at some examples of previous posters to give you an idea of what is expected:

1st Prize JRA Poster 2016 (example) [PDF 1004.23KB] - "Researching Alzheimer's the risk gene, APOE, Using the CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Editing System" by Robert Tempelaar, Medical Neuroscience

1st Prize SURA Poster 2016 (example) [PDF 772.76KB] - "Synthesis of Isocoumarin Ant Train Pheromones" by Arathy Jose, Chemistry

Arts and Humanities JRA Poster (example) [PDF 71.25MB] - "Augmenting Physical Objects with Musical Algorithms and Robotic Control" by Alex Jacobs, Music Technology

Social Science JRA Poster (example) [PDF 5.12MB] - "Women's Ministerial Representation- Rules of Ministerial Recruitment in Sweden" by Frida Gustafson, Politics

If you would like to see more examples, contact Dean Brooks at

When do I have to submit the poster?

The deadline for 2018's poster submission is September 20 2018 at 16.00pm. This means you have around two weeks after the end of your project to design your posters.

How do I submit the poster?

All JRAs must submit a PDF version of their poster. It must be A1 size and in portrait orientation. It should be sent as an e-mail attachment (or via WeTransfer if the size of the is too large) to Dean Brooks at

All you have to do is design the poster - we will have these professionally printed and ensure they are ready to be displayed during the exhibition.

What is the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition?

Every year the Doctoral School organises the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition in the autumn term where JRAs display their academic posters. It is a chance to celebrate the completion of your projects and to talk about your research to a wider audience. The exhibition is attended by students, faculty and members of staff, and is often very popular. This year's Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition will take place on Wednesday 3 October 2018, between 12.00-14.00.

The exhibition is also a competition! A judging panel comprised of faculty members and led by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) Prof Michael Davies will select the best posters to compete in the final. The finalists will then be interviewed by the panel about their research. The winners will be announced on the day. Additionally, the JRA poster competition first and runner-up prize winners will be invited to represent the University of Sussex at the Posters in Parliament - an event that brings together the best undergraduate research from across the country.


Your experience of presenting research does not have to end after you completed your projects. There are many opportunities available to network with external undergraduate researchers, practise your presentation skills and promote your research findings beyond Sussex.

British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR)

University of Sussex is proud to be part of the steering group for the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR). The Conference takes place every Spring. Undergraduate researchers from across the country submit abstracts which are then peer-reviewed and those accepted will be invited to attend BCUR. Last year 17 Sussex JRAs attended the conference. The Doctoral School offers either partial or full (depending on the budget) financial support to those invited to participate in BCUR. For more information about the Conference visit:

Undergraduate Journals

Students undertaking high quality research have the opportunity to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. Ambitious undergraduates who seriously consider doing a post-graduate degree can take first steps in building an academic portfolio by writing a paper and having it published in a recognised undergraduate journal. You can view a list of UK undergraduate journals on the BCUR website:



‘What to do next?‘ is a question that nearly all final year undergraduates face. To answer this you have to know what you want and don’t want, and if you do know what you want, usually, you are up against a few hundred fellow undergraduates. I really enjoyed being in the lab and feeling that I was part of ‘real’ research during the 8 weeks. This experience gave my CV an important competitive edge and it confirmed that I would pursue a research career. I also feel it helped prepare me for my dissertation project. I feel I have something that many other undergraduates don’t have and that gives me confidence in facing ‘after graduate life’.  Robert Tempelaar, Medical Neuroscience JRA 2016